Rep. Patrick Meehan resigned from Congress on Friday but vowed to repay taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars he used to settle a sexual harassment claim.
“I will pay $39,000.00 to the U.S. Treasury to reimburse for the severance payment that was made from my office account,” Meehan said in a statement. “That payment will be made within 30 days of my resignation from the House of Representatives. I did not want to leave with any question of violating the trust of taxpayers.”
The Pennsylvania Republican had announced in January that he would not seek reelection, news that followed revelations that he used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment case involving a former staffer.
Meehan denied any wrongdoing but suggested his early exit from the House is intended to spare his staff from “the rigors of an Ethics Committee investigation.”
“[I] believed it was best for them to have a head start on new employment rather than being caught up in an inquiry,” he said. “And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported Meehan’s resignation.